An online grocery store established by a former Witsie, aims to help financially struggling students.

Former Witsie and entrepreneur Zanele Mashabane has developed an online shopping platform that lets students earn money as they shop for groceries.

The online store, Zanele Groceries, has implemented a point system which is available to over 100 students from the various universities and colleges across Johannesburg, who use the platform. Students earn points for purchases and referrals to the site that they can either use to buy items on the platform or convert into cash – which they must collect from Mashabane.

Zanele Groceries has implemented a system allowing students to earn money as they shop.

Twenty-four-year-old Mashabane, who holds degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from Wits, told Wits Vuvuzela that the point system helps students to earn and save money. “Most students struggle financially, our point system is trying to tackle that issue and ensure that no one sleeps with an empty stomach,” she said.

Mawande Mdlokovana, a third-year BCom accounting student at Wits who uses the service, praised the point system. He said he accumulates them so that “in case I run out of groceries and I don’t have cash in that moment, I can just use the points”.

Students can choose their preferred delivery time and their items are delivered directly to their residences. “It’s also a lot safer, because the shops are far and my delivery comes straight to my gate,” said Mdlokovana

Zanele Groceries online store has been operating since January 2017. According to Mashabane, the point system may become available to all its users as the business expands.